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Soviet Imperialism

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Soviet cogitations: 304
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 05 Feb 2014, 00:36
Komsomol
Post 12 Feb 2014, 04:06
EdvardK wrote:
Sorry, pedro, this time i'm not letting you off the hook - you claimed eradication of illiteracy of population under 40 in 1955. Provide a solid proof for that. Here you provided a "proof" about the end of hoxha era. 1955 is NOT THE END OF HOXHA ERA. It's like claiming that Albanians landed on the Moon and then providing a source on Albania taking part in an international satellite launch.

Mark Harrison, Why Did NEP Fail, p57-67. eat it, pedro!


Comrade, have a friendly discussion with Ismail. There are other Stalinists who fall upon ad-hominem and attacks but the good Pedro is not doing the same here. Against incivility feel free to troll but he's polite. You can disagree but do it in a proper and Bolshevik manner I hope, don't get the jimmies rustled. It's just an internet debate after all.

I myself disagree with his analysis on Albania but then again I don't need to come out guns blazing at every opportunity to debate an issue wherein every side is deeply entrenched. This isn't RevLeft
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Soviet cogitations: 3799
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 12 Jun 2006, 02:14
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Politburo
Post 12 Feb 2014, 04:47
EdvardK, I don't know what your problem with Albanians is, but you'd better start behaving and stop attacking personally Ismail.
Albania and Yugoslavia were both interesting socialist projects with their good and their bad. If you don't like one, stay out of its thread!

By the way, WHO THE frag IS PEDRO?!?!
If I see it one more time, it's a one month red card for discrimination against latins.


"Where Argentina goes, Latin America will go".
Leonid Brezhnev

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Soviet cogitations: 4381
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Oct 2004, 22:04
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Resident Soviet
Post 12 Feb 2014, 09:41
The Stalinist (and I might add, Western Stalinist) position that the country magically switched from anti-imperialism to social imperialism after Stalin's death is a logician's nightmare, given that Stalin was the architect of all the ideological, political, economic and foreign policy constructs that continued to exist in a modified form until the late 1980s in the USSR. I have always believed that if one is to critique behaviour based on geopolitical calculation in 1956 and 1968, they should also take a look back at the roots of those events, lying in 1947-48. Stalin made a calculation at that time to support local communists taking over those countries and establishing ML regimes, based on pressures of a quick cooling of relations between the Allies and the USSR. He seemed to understand, based on his wartime and early postwar statements, that most of Eastern Europe was not ready for socialism, yet when the time came, he made a firm decision, based more on security concerns and geopolitical calculation than on ideology. The same goes for 1956 and 1968. The Soviets could not allow for the 'wheels of history' to take a step back in Eastern Europe, and this policy stance goes back to the imposition of ML governments in the region in the late 1940s.
"The thing about capitalism is that it sounds awful on paper and is horrendous in practice. Communism sounds wonderful on paper and when it was put into practice it was done pretty well for what they had to work with." -MiG
Soviet cogitations: 304
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 05 Feb 2014, 00:36
Komsomol
Post 12 Feb 2014, 12:39
soviet78 wrote:
The Stalinist (and I might add, Western Stalinist) position that the country magically switched from anti-imperialism to social imperialism after Stalin's death is a logician's nightmare, given that Stalin was the architect of all the ideological, political, economic and foreign policy constructs that continued to exist in a modified form until the late 1980s in the USSR. I have always believed that if one is to critique behaviour based on geopolitical calculation in 1956 and 1968, they should also take a look back at the roots of those events, lying in 1947-48. Stalin made a calculation at that time to support local communists taking over those countries and establishing ML regimes, based on pressures of a quick cooling of relations between the Allies and the USSR. He seemed to understand, based on his wartime and early postwar statements, that most of Eastern Europe was not ready for socialism, yet when the time came, he made a firm decision, based more on security concerns and geopolitical calculation than on ideology. The same goes for 1956 and 1968. The Soviets could not allow for the 'wheels of history' to take a step back in Eastern Europe, and this policy stance goes back to the imposition of ML governments in the region in the late 1940s.


I agree with this statement in just about every regard and would add that I believe the Stalinist state would have made a similar decision in 1947-48 even if the man himself was dead. Individuals matter to be certain but I can't see a "reformist" like Kruschev or hardliner like Molotov backing down from this. I mean it's either socialism from above or poor, crappy, Western-dominated "democracies." And of course there's the unique example in all these lands of Czechoslovakia where the Communist Party actually won the elections.
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Soviet cogitations: 4381
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Oct 2004, 22:04
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Resident Soviet
Post 12 Feb 2014, 13:18
Yeah; who is to say what would have happened to Eastern Europe if the Cold War did not heat up? Some countries might have experienced communist or otherwise progressive revolutions or reforms; others might have remained neutral, non-communist entities, with neutrality and friendship guarantees toward the USSR (think Finland and Austria in our timeline). The benefits of this were obvious: the USSR wouldn't be forcing anything on anyone, which would help their global image, and they could conduct trade with these friendly but neutral countries at world market rates, instead of what turned out to be the subsidization of Eastern Europe with cheap energy and resources prices. Moreover, a buffer zone of neutral states would reduce the USSR's defense spending and readiness requirements. I find it sad that the standard conception of history maintains that the USSR is to blame for turning Eastern Europe into a neocolonial zone. The unfortunate reality is that there was no other choice at the time, and I agree with you Somewhat that if anyone else was in Stalin's position at the time they would have done the same thing.
"The thing about capitalism is that it sounds awful on paper and is horrendous in practice. Communism sounds wonderful on paper and when it was put into practice it was done pretty well for what they had to work with." -MiG
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Soviet cogitations: 589
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Dec 2013, 14:24
Ideology: Democratic Socialism
Unperson
Post 12 Feb 2014, 13:37
“I agree with you Somewhat that if anyone else was in Gorbachev's position at the time they would have done the same thing.”

Totally agree with you there, but disagree that it was not imperialism. But I’ve also quoted you here, changed the name and the years in question (1985 – 1991). Marxist dialectics eh comrade? It’s not about individuals and their ideas shaping society, but the other way around.

Though soviet interference in Eastern Europe was neither welcome or benign. It was imperialism just like that of any other capitalist nation.
I’ll leave it to you lot to argue about when it started to be imperialism for me it was from day one.
Soviet cogitations: 304
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 05 Feb 2014, 00:36
Komsomol
Post 12 Feb 2014, 18:46
Yami wrote:
“I agree with you Somewhat that if anyone else was in Gorbachev's position at the time they would have done the same thing.”

Totally agree with you there, but disagree that it was not imperialism. But I’ve also quoted you here, changed the name and the years in question (1985 – 1991). Marxist dialectics eh comrade? It’s not about individuals and their ideas shaping society, but the other way around.

Though soviet interference in Eastern Europe was neither welcome or benign. It was imperialism just like that of any other capitalist nation.
I’ll leave it to you lot to argue about when it started to be imperialism for me it was from day one.


What when did I say that?

As for dialectics: objective and subjective factors. Marxism isn't deterministic unlike what its critics might level; individuals matter.

"Imperialism like any other nation"
Yes, buying Polish coal and giving oil like candy sure is imperialist, not to mention the capitalist mode of commodity production that existed in the entire East. You can argue it was imperialism but imperialism is as Lenin pointed out the highest stage of capitalism. The Eastern bloc may have been many things, but it's wasn't "state capitalist" or whatever else people seem to think. To me at least, and I think soviet78 would agree.
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Soviet cogitations: 589
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Dec 2013, 14:24
Ideology: Democratic Socialism
Unperson
Post 13 Feb 2014, 10:40
Yes, yes and thrice yes! The Eastern block was state capitalist and the state ran everything there. If there is a state there cannot be socialism.
Commodity production still existed there, so workers had to sell their labour power to the state. As for cheap oil etc that was my point, if, the economic costs of running an empire outweigh the economic benefits you say it’s not imperialism, so what do you call it then? When that happened with say India, they could you still say it was part of the British Empire?
Soviet cogitations: 54
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 27 Nov 2013, 03:30
Unperson
Post 06 Mar 2014, 01:28
Ya, the Soviets never engaged in plunder of natural resources. Just like the Syria success story, other nations had their own successes on oil explorations. Cuba was given aid to the tune of 4 billion dollars a year and their oil drilling projects reverted back to the Cuban ownership. They know what it is to be exploited that is why they don't or never did them.
Soviet cogitations: 10005
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Jul 2008, 20:01
Ideology: Trotskyism
Philosophized
Post 10 Mar 2014, 00:03
Yami wrote:
Commodity production still existed there, so workers had to sell their labour power to the state.


That is such a ridiculously cheap argument.

Who is the state? The political executive of the class that owns the means of production. "The state ran everything there" is a ridiculous claim. The workers owned the factories - and their bureaucracy ran them. That was the problem. Your stupid approach completely fails to explain which class the Soviet state represented - the bureaucrats worked for wages too, all of them! Did they sell their labor power to themselves? Where, exactly, did private profit occur in the USSR? There wasn't even a labor market, hence no labor power as commodity, hence no wage labor in the traditional sense. Wages under stalinism were more like rations, which is an entirely different thing.

You also completely fail to understand the immensely important topic of bureaucracy in workers' organisations. The bureaucratization of the Soviet state, the PSUV, and any Social Democratic Party are the same phenomenon appearing under different circumstances, and for communists it is incredibly important to have a clear concept of it in order to know how to fight it. But this will never even occur to armchair "communists" like yourself. How could it? Consciousness is shaped by activity, and your activity is to bitch at people who take this seriously from your probably super comfortable private office in the upper half of some skyscraper.

The existence of commodity production and a socialist society are not incompatible. Socialism isn't meant to do away with the commodity as a top priority, but with the political and social dominance of the bourgeoisie who depends on commodity production (and is to some degree created by it). Of course socialism will strive to liberate things from their commodity character wherever possible, but this will only be entirely possible when scarcity is gone because until then you will have people competing for things and that means they will have prices. What's your plan? To abolish all forms of money overnight? Anyone with half a brain understands that because of its sheer magnitude, such a task can only be accomplished over several decades if not centuries, and you don't even need a Marxist at all to see this. This is a completely childish fantasy that has nothing to do with the real world.
"Don't know why i'm still surprised with this shit anyway." - Loz
Soviet cogitations: 304
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 05 Feb 2014, 00:36
Komsomol
Post 10 Mar 2014, 00:40
Mabool wrote:

That is such a ridiculously cheap argument.

Who is the state? The political executive of the class that owns the means of production. "The state ran everything there" is a ridiculous claim. The workers owned the factories - and their bureaucracy ran them. That was the problem. Your stupid approach completely fails to explain which class the Soviet state represented - the bureaucrats worked for wages too, all of them! Did they sell their labor power to themselves? Where, exactly, did private profit occur in the USSR? There wasn't even a labor market, hence no labor power as commodity, hence no wage labor in the traditional sense. Wages under stalinism were more like rations, which is an entirely different thing.

You also completely fail to understand the immensely important topic of bureaucracy in workers' organisations. The bureaucratization of the Soviet state, the PSUV, and any Social Democratic Party are the same phenomenon appearing under different circumstances, and for communists it is incredibly important to have a clear concept of it in order to know how to fight it. But this will never even occur to armchair "communists" like yourself. How could it? Consciousness is shaped by activity, and your activity is to bitch at people who take this seriously from your probably super comfortable private office in the upper half of some skyscraper.

The existence of commodity production and a socialist society are not incompatible. Socialism isn't meant to do away with the commodity as a top priority, but with the political and social dominance of the bourgeoisie who depends on commodity production (and is to some degree created by it). Of course socialism will strive to liberate things from their commodity character wherever possible, but this will only be entirely possible when scarcity is gone because until then you will have people competing for things and that means they will have prices. What's your plan? To abolish all forms of money overnight? Anyone with half a brain understands that because of its sheer magnitude, such a task can only be accomplished over several decades if not centuries, and you don't even need a Marxist at all to see this. This is a completely childish fantasy that has nothing to do with the real world.


Fantastic argument on the nature of the proletarian state in its degenerated form, an I'd also add that the role of the bureaucracy doesn't need to be a negative one when it is not bureaucracy for its own sake, but as a leading element of society responsible for the managerial functions of society as outlined in State and Revolution without ridiculous benefits.

As to your second point I think this is something people consistently gloss over: the Communists were immensely popular. In fact, the only countries during the entire war where the nationalist resistance was larger than the Communist were Poland (because of Stalin's brilliant leadership and purge of the CPP
), the Baltics, and the Netherlands. Every single other country, even little ones like Denmark, had larger/more effective and more popular communist organizations. Actually there's a great film on this I recommend to all comrades named Flamme and Citroen.
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Soviet cogitations: 3618
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 22 Oct 2004, 15:15
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Politburo
Post 08 Apr 2014, 14:00
I don't know if the "nationalist resistance" in the Netherlands was bigger than the communists. It is important to emphasise that the type of resistance was different than in some other countries. There were no partisan organisations like in Italy or Yugoslavia. It is hard to conduct partisan warfare in a country like the Netherlands, anyway. Because of this, the Dutch resistance did not pose a military threat to the occupying force as a whole, but mostly consisted of strikes, illegal newspapers, hiding Jews, sabotage, theft and forgery of ration cards and identity cards, assassinations of Germans and traitors, etc.

The illegal CPN consisted of a 2,000-man underground cell structure that only allowed the most reliable people to join, so a broad-based communist resistance organisation was impossible by definition: of the pre-war CPN membership, only a minority were inducted into the illegal party. It would not have helped anyone if they had just mobilised their entire membership. It would have only gotten them killed. In this early stage of the resistance, the few existing underground groups were still primitive and naïve, and most were wiped out quickly. The CPN was the only major political party to even organise its own underground structure, even during the confusing years of the "Molotov-Ribbentrop" period.

True acts of mass resistance in this period took place, including some early strikes for economic demands, and then the famous February Strike in 1941, which was organised by communists and for which the order was given by the underground leadership of the party. Of course there were many non-communists among the strikers, but this was a truly massive act of public, above-ground resistance organised by the communists.

The position of anticommunist "resistance" groups was also inflated due to the proximity to Britain and the role played there by the government in exile, Prince Bernhard, etc. One of the oldest groups was the Ordedienst ("Order Service"), consisting of reactionary career officers, whose aim was not resistance for its own sake, but rather to control the flow of arms and intelligence and to ensure "law and order" and a quick restoration of the pre-war establishment on the short term (an early hypothetical victory by France and Britain) or the long term (the actual liberation in 1944-5). Some, including the Queen and Bernhard themselves, wanted to go further and replace the fragmented pre-war system with a Gaullist-style centralised government, with more powers for the head of state and a "new nobility" consisting of the most distinguished reactionary resistance men. At least we can be glad that that never happened. But Bernhard and London consistently supported and privileged this faction of the resistance, and later centralised the resistance groups into the "Interior Forces" with Bernhard as commander.

Sorry for this long exposition, but it is important to understand the context and to define what can be counted as "resistance". The resistance largely took a different form compared to the partisans in other countries. And while it was united and single-minded on the surface, in practice there were many different tendencies. There are even persistent theories that, at the end of the war, important figures of the monarchist resistance passed on information about communists to the Germans.
Soviet cogitations: 304
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 05 Feb 2014, 00:36
Komsomol
Post 13 Apr 2014, 16:11
Well I for one welcome the historical discourse and it's good to read about. I don't disagree on the important role of the monarchists, I'm just saying when the so-called "resistance" came out of the woodwork guns blazing in 44 they were for the most part the conservatives, though of course limiting arms to the communists did that as well.
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Soviet cogitations: 3618
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 22 Oct 2004, 15:15
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Politburo
Post 13 Apr 2014, 21:57
Today I read about something that I didn't even know, that in the liberated zone in the south, in 1944, the new military authority also suppressed communist publications, for instance by limiting the availability of paper or instituting censorship.
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